Archive for the ‘Trained Youth Development Professionals’ Category

Volunteer of the Month: Javier!

April 5th, 2017 by Laura Smith

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County wouldn't be such a success without our awesome volunteers who help in the Clubs, at events and anything and everything else we can think of. To highlight our volunteers, we will be featuring one AWESOME volunteer each month.  If you're a volunteer with BGCLC and would like to be featured, reach out to Megan, our volunteer coordinator, at volunteer@bgclarimer.org!

This month we meet Javier Eiserman. Javier volunteers at our Harmony Village location during the week. The youth love him and he's always brightening their (and our) day! He'll be teaching in Nicaragua this summer, but we can't wait to hear about his adventures when he returns!

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1. What is your favorite smell?
My favorite smell is peppermint or the freshness in the air after it rains.
2. What is the most beautiful place you've ever been to?
That is a hard one, but I'd say either Li River in China or Paris (the Eiffel Tower).
3. Would you rather win an Olympic medal, academy award, or Nobel peace prize and why?
Nobel because it means I hopefully helped a lot of people.
4. What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
Climbed a volcano in Guatemala.
5. What do you like most about volunteering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County?
The kiddos that we work with are amazing and full of energy that will always brighten your day.

Summer 2016 Boys & Girls Clubs Training

June 9th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Watch out summer, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County full-time and part-time staff are trained and ready! During the last week of May, BGC staff underwent a week of staff programming and safety training in preparation for the 2016 summer sessions. On Tuesday, May 31st, staff kicked-off training by learning about the importance and necessity of mental health first aid when dealing with children, teens and young adults.

Staff also went through a two-day lesson on Poudre School District’s school shooter training. After several school shootings within the last few years, this training was critical for all staff to understand that in today’s society, sometimes we are the front line when violence occurs. Topics covered included an active shooter scenario, bomb threat scenario and hands-on wound care workshop. More information on the shooter training can be found here. This shooter training was taught in conjunction with CPR and First Aid Training.

Staff, both full-time and part-time, got to break-out and mingle during the greater part of Thursday, June 2, while participating in in-service training at the Boys & Girls Club Fort Collins location. The all-day training included an all-staff, mandatory reporting training hosted by the Child Advocacy Center. Items discussed included recognizing signs of child abuse and neglect, and also what to do if you suspect abuse. This session was followed by four breakout sessions designed to get staff involved and immersed in Boys & Girls Clubs tailored activities. Break-out sessions included High Yield Learning Activities led by Brian Johnson; STEAM Programming led by Rachel Messersmith; On The Spot Fun led by TJ Daya; and Engaging Youth in Targeted Programming led by Andy Abbott.

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Even with all the training and learning happening, the staff managed to squeeze out some fun. It can’t be all work and no play after all.

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Three more sessions wrapped up the day, including Safety Scenarios and BGCLC Safety Protocol led by Kaycee Headrick, which examined safety protocols and safety scenarios; Nonviolent Communication led by Rob Klein, in which attendees were taught techniques around nonviolent communication when working with youth and de-escalation strategies; and finally, Planning for Programming 101 led by TJ Daya and Ashley Prow, which covered the basics of planning and preparing for Club activities as well as addressing how to see, and fill, a need in the Club environment.

No training is just a week long event, it is continually on-going and always needed. Let’s keep safe, keep trained, and work on making this the best summer yet!

Meet Desirae, Middle and High School Program Specialist at Wellington!

May 5th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

DesDesirae is the Middle and High School Program Specialist for the Wellington Unit!  She has worked with BGCLC for a year in May.  Desirae is doing an incredible job helping to lead teen nights and the social action project in Wellington!  Desirae will also be leading the "Got What It Takes," community service program this summer.  Read below to learn more about Des:

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is good 'ol fashioned BBQ'd anything. Top choices on the grill would be either BBQ'd ribs or a pulled pork sandwich complete with cornbread, coleslaw, and a sweet iced tea.

What is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would be going somewhere overseas. I am particularly interested in Ireland or the Philippines. I would have to find a way to interact with the locals and get a true cultural experience as well as have plenty of time set aside for relaxation. I don't like to have a busy schedule when I am on vacation.

If you were trapped on an desert Island, what three things would you bring with you?
If I were trapped on an island and could bring any three things I would bring my Bible, my best friend Rene, and my guitar.

What is a unique talent you have?
A unique talent I have is that I can cross my eyes and wiggle just one eye. I can also turn my thumb completely backwards.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Boys & Girls Clubs?
My favorite thing about working at the Boys and Girls Club is all the fun things I get to do as well as the ability I have to make choices and bring things that I am interested to personally to the kids and the Club. I also love that I can be silly and goofy at work and that a key element and requirement of my job is to have fun. 🙂

Thank you for all you do, Des!!!

Meet Ashley Prow, Loveland Unit Program Director

March 31st, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Ashley ProwAshley has worked at the Loveland Unit for over five years in a variety of roles, most recently, she has moved into the Program Director position. Ashley has taken more road trips with BGCLC youth than anyone in else in the organization! Read below to learn more about Ashley.

1. What is your favorite food?
Is it weird that this is always a hard question for me? I don't have a particular food that I love. I can however say my favorite restaurant is Inoko's Express in Athens, GA.

2. What is your ideal vacation?
If money were no object it would be a year spent traveling around the world and seeing EVERYTHING. I would spend extra time in Europe and the Mediterranean area. I love the history that comes out of those parts of the world. I've also always wanted to see all 8 wonders of the world.

If we are talking attainable vacation, I love going to St. Simon's Island off the coast of Georgia. I grew up spending my summers there with family and I love going back. It's the perfect little beach town with great memories attached.

3. If you were trapped on an Island, what three things would you bring with you?
Hmmmm... A water filtration pump, a big knife and my friend Kylie. She wouldn't be a huge help to survive but it would be a lot of fun.

4. What is a unique talent you have?
I don't know if it counts as a unique talent but I have an uncanny memory. I will remember your parents names, your favorite food or a childhood story even if you only mention it once. Sometimes it creeps people out but I swear I'm not obsessive or stalkerish, I just remember weird things.

5. What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?
The people. I love working with the kids, helping them through difficult times and seeing them grow up. It's incredibly fulfilling knowing you've helped a kid reach their full potential and knowing at least one adult is there telling them they can do great things. I also love the staff I work with. We are a great team and make each other laugh. The people I work with are what helps me get through the hard days.

Ashley, thank you for all that you do!!!

#WeOwnFriday

March 10th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

On Friday February 26th, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County - Loveland Unit hosted a #WeOwnFriday event.  #WeOwnFriday is a national Boys & Girls Clubs initiative to provide a fun and safe place for teens to go on Friday nights. Teens from Fort Collins, Loveland, Weld County and the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Clubs participated in battle of the sexes and minute to win it challenges.  Clubs also competed in a five on five basketball tournament.  With over 60 members in attendance,this was our largest gathering yet and we cant wait for the next one!

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Meet Gillian, Events & Grants Specialist!

February 22nd, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

GillianSince July 2015, Gillian has been our Events & Grants Specialist and has been doing an absolutely amazing job!  Her attention to detail and positive attitude has yielded some great events and grant awards. When not at the Club, Gillian can be found hanging out with her dog, Kitty, or her fiance, Geoff. Read on to learn more about Gillian!

1. What is your favorite food?
Cookies, no, burgers, no, pizza, no, ice cream!  Do I have to pick just one?  If I had to, it would have to be cookies!

2. What is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would have to be traveling to Spain.  I would love to walk along the beautiful beaches and immerse myself in their culture!

3. If you were trapped on an Island, what three things would you bring with you?
I am a talker so I would have to bring someone to talk to and I would probably be in trouble if I said anyone beside my wonderful fiance. 😉  Of course I would bring a huge oatmeal raisin cookie from Mary's Mountain Cookies!  The last thing I would bring would be my dog, Kitty!

4. What is a unique talent you have?
If I am watching an episode of Friends, I can recite almost every line.  I know that probably means I have watched every episode wayyy too many times, but I can't help it.

5. What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?
I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone that I work with, the kids we serve and the Larimer County community.  Everyone brings something different to the table and has their own unique way of showing their passions!

Meet Brad Francis, Program Director at the Fort Collins Unit

January 7th, 2016 by Jenna Riedi

Brad FrancisBrad is the new Program Director at the Fort Collins Unit!  Prior to that, Brad was the Character and Citizenship Specialist and created awesome programs like Culture Club and Debate Club.  Pictured is Brad and a young lady that he supports who lives in an orphanage in Mexico.  Read more below to learn about Brad!

1. What is your favorite food?

Sirloin steak and loaded potatoes. The breakfast of champions.

2. What is your ideal vacation?

I'm going to live out my dream vacation at the end of February this year!  My wife and I are spending a week and a half traveling to Paris and Barcelona.  We'll be living as locals in studio apartments and sipping coffee from the neighborhood cafes.  It will be paradise.

3. If you were trapped on an Island, what three things would you bring with you?

I'd be sure to bring my wife, because she's smarter and wiser than me in every way, my dog, and my guitar.

4. What is a unique talent you have?

I'm a pretty good whistler.

5. What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?

I get really excited when I see kids seizing opportunities to learn and grow that they would never have outside of the Boys & Girls Club.  I feel privileged to work in an organization that encourages crazy programs that I have come up with such as Bike Club or Culture Club where I was able to share my passions with the kids.

Thanks Brad for all you do!!

Meet Rob, Unit Director of the Wellington Unit

September 17th, 2015 by Talia Sanders

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Rob has been Unit Director in Wellington for over a year. Prior to that, he served as the Loveland Unit's Technology Specialist.  Rob is great at implementing new and innovative programs at the Wellington Unit and inspiring BGCLC Members to get involved in these new programs.  Read more below about Rob! ​

1. What is your favorite type of food?
Asian; Japanese, Chinese,Vietnamese, Lao and Indian!  I love food!

2. What is your ideal vacation?
The kind that slows down time with a balance of books and adventures, a place that teaches me and challenges me. I would want to have plenty of sleep and laughter and to meet other sojourners and locals filled with stories.

3. If you were trapped on an island what three things would you bring with you?
I would sure hope that the island had the basic necessities or I would wither away with my saxophone.  What about the climate?  What if I brought a hammock to an island that was forlorn with no vegetation?  Will I be alone?  Would I be able to bring things that I don't own?  Like the world's largest yacht with all the amenities and supplies imaginable for me and anyone else that would like to go island hopping?  I guess I would bring my saxophone, a yacht with a captain, and find the perfect island for my hammock.

4. What is a unique talent you have?
I used to write music for bands and still do from time to time.

5. What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?
I love witnessing personal, positive growth.  I really enjoy seeing how Club Members grow, how coworkers grow, and how I grow.

Meet Rachel, STEAM Specialist

August 17th, 2015 by Jenna Riedi

RachelRachel LOVES STEAM!  She serves as our only dedicated staff member to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) programming and has done a fabulous job.  Rachel has initiated many community collaborations, Club programs, and field trips in the area of STEAM, exposing Club members to many new experiences.  In addition, Rachel's program will soon be featured across the state in a STEM PSA through Comcast!  Read below to learn more about Rachel.

1.  What is your favorite type of food?
Favorite food is for sure Greek or Italian food.  Growing up, I worked in a Greek Family restaurant and was surrounded by delicious pastries and pastas!  Yum.

2.  What is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation would be packing up a pack and just going on a huge hiking trip around Europe or South America.  There is just something freeing about being out in the wild with only your pack.

3.  If you were trapped on an island what three things would you bring with you?
Art journal, my sister, and a guitar (plenty of time to finally learn)

4.  What is a unique talent you have?
The unique talent that I have is to break into song at the drop of a word.. Super. .supercalifragilisticexpialidocious even though the sound of it is simply quite atrocious.  If I am not singing I am for sure humming to entertain myself.

5.  What do you enjoy most about working at the Boys & Girls Club?
Making connections with the staff, the members and the community. Everyone is excited to make the world a better place and I am happy to be a part of that.

Thank you, Rachel, for all you do!!!

Merry Christmas to Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County!

December 22nd, 2013 by Maryjo Faith Morgan

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We, at Fred's Used Websites, are happy to gift you with a blog on your website! We know Talia and Rachel will make good use of it to spread the word about the great things that are always happening at the Larimer County Boys & Girls Clubs in Loveland, Fort Collins and Windsor. Merry Christmas from us to you!

In fact, we believe so deeply in what BGCLC is doing for our local youth, we nominated them for a Loveland Chamber of Commerce Award. We want the WHOLE COMMUNITY to understand what a great resource the clubs are for families!

Here's what we said:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County are not just after-school hangouts. They are places, where young people go to learn, do homework, develop social skills, express themselves creatively and participate in sports & fitness activities.

They are safe places for kids to be accepted for who they are, places where they are encouraged to strive to become the best they can be. In fact, The mission of BGCLC is to provide an environment that helps young people reach their full potential.

1) Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County's three clubs ACCOMPLISH SIGNIFICANT RESULTS on behalf of their Loveland, Fort Collins and Wellington communities.

First of all, they have a huge impact, in part, due to 4 key characteristics:

  1. Dedicated youth facilities
  2. Open when kids need it most: weekdays after school and during the summer when kids have free time and need positive, productive outlets
  3. Professional staff who are trained youth development professionals and act as role models and mentors to members
  4. Available and affordable to all youth: for only $5 per year, any child between the ages of 6 and 18 can become a member

WoodenSnowmanMost people do not realize the clubs help kids succeed through proven programs that help youth gain the developmental assets they need to succeed in life.

While the kids are having fun, they are participating in a thoroughly planned Core Program Areas activities which cultivate and foster:

      1. Character & Leadership Development
      2. Education, Technology, & Career Development
      3.  STEAM – The STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math) plus the Arts
      4.  Health & Life Skills
      5.  Sports, Fitness & Recreation

The win/win is that parents can focus on work, knowing their kids are in a productive learning environment that is so much more than a day care!

The Clubs have even saved lives - several Club members who considered suicide, pointed to their strong relationships with staff as the reason they chose to stay alive.

Here in Loveland 500 youth a month take part in more than 8,000 hours of programming and enjoy healthy snacks and dinner every night through Kids Cafe.

Combined, the three sites (Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington) serve 1,280 youth a month in summer and 990 a month in school year

Opportunities for kids to experience academic success are nurtured through:

  • Power Hour – dedicated time for homework help
  • Prevention of Summer Learning Loss – engaging summer academic activities to prevent drops in literacy and math skills
  • Report Card Parties – rewarding good grades with fun prizes.
  • Scholarships – helping youth obtain scholarships to continue their education after high school.

Healthy Lifestyles are encouraged through SPARK fitness program, funded by the Colorado Health Foundation, to keep kids active and eating right.

2) BGCLC EMBODIES A SPIRIT OF VOLUNTEERISM, ALTRUISM AND RESPECT through programming, creating opportunities and example:

a. Developing good character and citizenship is a key goal of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County.

b. The Loveland Keystone Club, a Boys & Girls Club teen leadership program, volunteers regularly at Seven Lakes Memory Care, a residential home for people affected by Alzheimer's and Dementia. Their first gardening project led to several more since both residents and Club members experience was so positive.

3) BGCLC SUPPORTS AND DEMONSTRATES THE COLLABORATIVE SPIRIT through creative partnerships and memberships with Chambers of Commerce, other nonprofits, and/or various business and civic organizations, including:

      • Loveland Chamber of Commerce
      • Loveland Rotary
      • Educo
      • The Food Bank for Larimer County’s Kids Cafe
      • Thompson School District
      • Winona Elementary
      • New Vision Charter School (amazing collaboration to design shared space that the school could rent during non-Club hours)

4) BGCLC INSPIRES OTHERS BY THEIR EXAMPLE:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County value diversity and treat people with dignity by welcoming youth, staff, and volunteers of all ethnic, racial, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, and religious backgrounds and identities.

They model and teach positive character traits through character & leadership programs like “Not-a-Hater” group and bullying awareness and prevention activities that help kids learn to respect and embrace one another’s differences.

Thanks to the Boys & Girls Club, Loveland youth have access to positive youth development programs that help them become successful and contributing members of the Loveland community.

GREAT futures start HERE!